SA: Embraced by a Disguised Net; CAPTIVATED

Togusa: No dice. It's pretty much the same as what was in the initial reports.

Batou: The same here. They all remembered seeing a girl waiting around this area, but no one happened to be looking at the moment she vanished.

Motoko: Batou, what's your status?

Batou: We pull footage from the area's IR-System, but it didn't show anything. And asking around didn't turn up score, either. How 'bout you?

Motoko: The Chief is with the Minister of Home Affairs right now, trying to get the details from former Prime Minister Kanzaki.

Batou: Hey, doesn't this seem familiar? It's like their M.O.

Motoko: The Chief seems to be thinking the same thing. A person suddenly disappears into thin air in the middle of a big city. "Blindfold Ivan"... This is their signature routine.

Togusa: But the missing girl is the daughter of none other than Kanzaki of former PM, hasn't he always denied the existence of these "Blindfold Ivan" mass abductions? If they're the ones behind it, then it's hard to believe that they'd shoot themselves in the foot like this.

Motoko: Or it could be a disguised plot by someone who wants us to think it's them.

Kanzaki: If only this were some elaborate scheme she concocted to runaway from home. My daughter has been going through a very difficult time, you see, that is ever since I took a beating in the media and was ousted.

Aramaki: Due to your statement last year denying mass abductions, I assume?

Kanzaki: Yes. That's always part of the risk one takes as a public figure, of course, but if ask me, it's the citizens who serve the state. At the time, Russia's diplomatic position was compromised when word of these kidnappings cropped up. Russia's window to the EU began to close after that, therefore they attempted to strengthen their relations with Japan.At any rate, why haven't there been any demands from her abductors?

Aramaki: My guess, and I can't be certain about it, is that it's possible they had no idea Reiko was your daughter when they kidnapped her, Assemblyman.

Kanzaki: Your point is?

Aramaki: Working from the fact of the case that we know so far, I can only deduce that she was taken by Blindfold Ivan, an entity that you yourself openly claim it isn't even real.

Kanzaki: Absurd. That can't be.

Aramaki: You've publicly denied this group's very existence, Assemblyman, but you can't possibly be unaware of their activity, sir.

Kanzaki: Anyway, regardless of what they've done in the past, I find it hard believe that they unknowingly kidnap Reiko, daughter of the one and only man who protected them from suspicion.

Aramaki: The Mafia in the Northern Territories has tens of thousands of members in their organization. It's not unreasonable that there are a few of their flunkies who haven't heard of your efforts on their behalf.

Kanzaki: You disappoint me, Aramaki. That's the only theory you can come up with? Pathetic. Or it could be that you have been pressured to hinder the investigation by somebody in the mainstream faction?

Minister of Home Affairs: Not at all, Assemblyman. I know what you're going through, instead the Prime Minister himself is concerned about this, and called in Section 9 to assist.

Kanzaki: Did I ask your opinion?

MHA: Uh...

Aramaki: You appear to have misgivings about my involvement, so allow me to spell this out clearly. I am interested in nothing except the safe return of your daughter, Assemblyman Kanzaki. Major.

Motoko: I was listening. It looks like Kanzaki is a little paranoid. He's jumping at shadows.

Aramaki: I don't blame him. It was a leak from someone close to him in his own ruling party that triggered the call for his resignation. The Northern Territory organlegging group is clearly a professional one that's operating with the tacit approval of their home government. The assemblyman can't possibly be ignorant of that.

Motoko: Which is why it makes even less sense that they would kidnap the daughter of their advocate. Do you think it was really just a coincidence?

Aramaki: Yes, but I have no hard evidence. The group may be pro, but their rank and file are mere street dogs. However, reports have been surfacing of petty squabbles within the Northern Territories Mafia lately. It's possible that she got caught in the crossfire of one of those for some reason.

Motoko: If the first case is true, then, it would be bad for us if they got wind that she's Kanzaki's daughter. Because if I were one of their flunkies...

Aramaki: Right. That's one piece of information we can't let them hold of. That's why we have a press blackout in place. And at the same time, don't let our target give ourselves away. The police have never moved this quickly against Blindfold Ivan in the past. With any luck, we'll catch them off guard. But on the downsides, if we're spotted, they'll probably kill all the hostages and go further underground.

Motoko: Understood. Batou, I really don't think that they'll risk shipping the goods overseas alive, that's far too complicated. They probably process them first. Check out places that they could break down large numbers of people, starting with the most likely areas.

Batou: Roger.

Togusa: She's a by-the-numbers kinda woman.

Reiko: Ah...! Where am I? Ah...

Cruzkowa: The air is bad in here. If they're going to be stored this way, why bother to pick healthy bodies that were born after the Asian Miracle?

Pak: Yes, ma'am.

Cruzkowa: So, how many more until we reach our quota?

Pak: Geez, will you let me get a little rest?

Cruzkowa: You can take a vacation after we finish this job. But if something goes wrong and we don't deliver, we're out of business.

Pak: 3 more.

Cruzkowa: Good, go out and get the merchandise. I'll stay and make arrangements for the extraction and shipping of the girl's organs and cyber devices.

Pak: What? You mean alone?

Cruzkowa: A local yakuza is hooking me up with the back-alley doctor to handle the chop work.

Pak: No, I'm talking about me!

Cruzkowa: Of course. Go earn the money I paid you.

Pak: Alright, alright...

Abductee: You're Kanzaki's daughter, aren't you? This is one of those mass abductions that your father argue didn't exist! When I saw your face, I thought there was some kind of mistake, but you heard what that bitch said, didn't you? My God, what the hell's going on!

Reiko: Ah, I really wish I knew...

Operator: Major, the first post just made its appearance.

Motoko: As soon? Ridiculous. Where did they get wind of it, I wonder.

Operator: Location, Virtual City Beta's Rumor Mail. Reaction to the post is growing. The spread to private sites is now confirmed.

Ishikawa: This is fishy. There's a strong probability that the big 9 networks are leaking in order to break the press agreement. It is very newsworthy and interesting, but they always turn tragedy into entertainment. That pisses me off.

Motoko: Well, we expected this to happen. What's the ETA for the kidnappers to reach level 6?

Ishikawa: With luck, 2 hours at best. If they also run an AI search, then I'd say we're looking at about 20 minutes.

Motoko: All right, set up an access limit with an F-4, using a decoy ought to buy us another 30 minutes.

Togusa: Poor kid. If this was a Northern Territories abduction, it's karma then. So, do you think he would've done anything this time if the girl wasn't his own kid?

Batou: Don't let your personal feelings affect your job. You're just venting because you gotta grudge against the former Prime Minister.

Togusa: Yeah. I'm venting, but with the feelings of the general populace. What about all those other people who have been abducted, huh?

Batou: It's not that I don't get what you're saying, but consider what is these latest victims are going right now. The fact is, we have had confirmation that 29 underage girls reported missing over the past 3 days in this town alone. It ain't exactly rare for minors to run away from home, but in 28 out of those 29 cases, there's already been demands for some sort of investigation. Seeing that the girls who disappeared from good home, don't you think this has the leak of Northern Territories all over it?

Togusa: ...Hm.

Togusa: Look, I'm sure it's the right idea to check them in order of likelihood, but do you really think they'd be hiding in such an obvious spot.

Batou: Every once in a while that nice, quiet neighbor turns out to be a serial killer.

Cruzkowa: You didn't bring the doctor with you?

Yakuza: The Boss says he'll reconsider if you pay him 5 times the amount for the last job and this one.

Pak: Don't gimme that crap! We wired the last payments to you a long time ago, asshole!

Yakuza: I wouldn't know. I just pass on you what the Boss said, ma'am.

Batou: What's up of these guys?

Togusa: I don't know.

Pak: You know we need you see you wanna take advantage of us! Is that your plan, huh!?You brought friends?! You son of a...!

Togusa: What the hell happened?

Batou: Who knows! Come on, let's go after 'em! You circle around from the other side!

Batou: Togusa, the woman is heading your way. Stay sharp!

Togusa: I know, I know.

Togusa: This place was it... Huh!

Batou: Dumbass! Get rid of the arm! Throw it away!

Togusa: Huh!

Batou: Son of a bitch! Still alive, huh?

Togusa: That's a hell of a thing to say. Images of my family flashed before my eyes.

Batou: I didn't mean you.

Togusa: Huh?

Batou: The old crone who used to be with the SVR.

Cruzkowa: Were they Police? How did anyone catch onto us? I've gotta unload these girls, and do it fast.

Batou: Major, we have 3 girls in custody we believe abductees. From their testimony, there's no doubt that it was a Northern Territories kidnapping.

Motoko: And Kanzaki's daughter?

Batou: She's with the female ringleader who's still at large and on the run.

Motoko: You were right there! How could you let this happen?

Batou: Sorry. But I did learn who the ringleader was. It's Cruzkowa.

Motoko: Cruzkowa? You mean the same Cruzkowa who used to be a special operative with the Russian's Foreign Intelligence?

Batou: Yeah. She's an extreme nationalist involved in secret ops last century. Her base used to be Southeast Asia.

Togusa: Last century?

Batou: Her exact age is unknown. She went full-cyborg and looks young on the outside, but inside is Ghost of an old woman who's gonna be pushing 80.

Motoko: Chief!

Aramaki: Right. This changes the situation. I have an idea.

Aramaki: Pardon me. Assemblyman, we've identified the person who abducted your daughter.

Kanzaki: Who is it?

Aramaki: It was a Northern Territories Mafia.

Kanzaki: And...what about Reiko?

Aramaki: The kidnapper is on the run and she still has your daughter.

MHA: What do you think? Perhaps we should try contacting the embassy.

Kanzaki: Yes. You are right. That would be best.

Aramaki: You can do that if you like, but what are you options if they feign ignorance, sir?

Kanzaki: Well, counting on you and your forces aren't much of an option.

Aramaki: I have no excuses. However, a thought occurred to me which might work.

Kanzaki: Go on. Tell me.

Aramaki: We can apply your influence via the media, Assemblyman. We imposed press blackout to keep this news under wraps, but now we'll turn around and spread it all over the net.

Kanzaki: You're crazy! If I would do that, I'll be nothing more than a punching bag for the media! Political suicide, that's what I'd be committing!

Aramaki: If you keep offering them with the same old unreliable information, then you set yourself up with something like that to happen. But right now, we need to focus on our top priority which is a safe return of your daughter. Nothing spreads through the net faster than information that's scandalous to the public, therefore it's certain to reach the ears of the kidnapper. And when it does, that's when your power will talk, Assemblyman.

Kanzaki: I don't understand what you're saying.

MHA: I agree. Will you please explain yourself more clearly.

Aramaki: As luck would have it, the perpetrator that we're chasing after is a seasoned professional. And due to the fact that we are dealing with a pro that this plan is going to work. You might find this to be odd reasoning, but if we're contending with an enemy who's professional, we can rely to a certain degree on their operating methodology. In other words, even though she is a criminal working as a government spy, she'd undoubtedly go to her associates for advice upon learning that she has the daughter of her homeland's benefactor. And while she is considering how to deal with this dilemma, it's inconceivable that she would endanger your daughter. We cannot afford to lose this opportunity. Therefore I urge to get the word out to the viewing public without delay. And when you do, there's only one place for our target to run.

Kanzaki: The embassy, huh?

Aramaki: You'll have to be the one to decide, Assemblyman.

Kanzaki: Hm...

Motoko: Ishikawa, is the F-4 decoy working?

Ishikawa: For the moment, it's giving us some good semantic deletion results.

Motoko: When the Chief gives us the word, we're gonna send out a leak as a counter. Fan the flames to spread them faster.

Togusa: That's one heartless trick the Chief's pulling on Kanzaki. He's gonna be exposed in the press because of this.

Batou: Well, looks like you and the Chief have the same blood in, after all. That's a scary thought.Major, I'm gonna track Cruzkowa. I think we'll all end up in the same place anyway.

Motoko: Good idea. I'll head up, too.

Cruzkowa: What? What do you mean you can't help me? I've been good to you, thanks to me you made a fortune.

Voice 1: Sorry.

Cruzkowa: It's me. I've gotten myself into a real bind. I'll double your pay. I need you to handle some goods.

Voice 2: The way I hear it, you got a hold of some hot property. I'll pass.

Cruzkowa: What hot property? Does that have something to do with why I'm being hunted?

Voice 2: Huh? You're joking. Haven't you even netted the news? Let me tell you. You're the talk at the town. And not just all over the big 9, but on private sites, too.

Cruzkowa: Uh...!?

Voice 2: "Northern Territories Spy Repays Kindness with Betrayal." They say the mass abduction group napped the daughter of their supporter Kanzaki, and he's so furious that he's putting his political career on the line to denounce the Northern Territories because of it. I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes right now. Hey, you listening? Hey!

Cruzkowa: Is there a girl in here by the name of Reiko Kanzaki? Are you her? Is it you?

Reiko: Uh...

Cruzkowa: Answer me! Are you Shuzo Kanzaki's daughter?

Reiko: ...

Cruzkowa: What in the hell was the assemblyman's daughter doing on the target list, dammit? Get up! You're coming with me!

Announcer: Tonight's breaking story which is being reported by every major news agency is that the 29 young women who mysteriously disappeared during the past three days from the Kobe harbor area. Detectives on the case revealed the opinion that these abductions were the work of Cruzkowa Bosyelinov, a former secret agent with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Among the missing is Reiko Kanzaki, oldest daughter of former Prime Minister--

Cruzkowa: Comrade, it's me. I'm in trouble. I need asylum papers for a Japanese national immediately. You must help me.

Cruzkowa: Right here is fine. Let's go. Come on! Get up! Damn! Why?!

Motoko: Looks like you've been abandoned.

Batou: That's far enough! Man, the old bag really has a ton of tricks up her sleeve.

Aramaki: Sir, we found your daughter, and my men have just taken her into protective custody.

Kanzaki: She's all right. Thank Heaven.

MHA: You should go over to the hospital immediately.

Kanzaki: Uh, of course... Aramaki.

Aramaki: Assemblyman?

Kanzaki: I am grateful to you.

Aramaki: Good work, Major.

Motoko: Well, it's sure a pitiful ending for a spy when you think about it.

Aramaki: Cruzkowa lost out in the squabble with the Mafia, subsequently they gave her an abduction target list. Kanzaki's own daughter was on it. As a result, she was branded a traitor. She was even abandoned by her comrades in the embassy to whom she'd sworn loyalty. It is pitiful.

Motoko: But still, you came up with an amazing plan under pressure, Chief. Forcing the man that choose which was really more important to him, his political life or his daughter's.

Aramaki: I figured that since the Northern Territories involved, cutting their ties to Kanzaki would help to deter the crime. In order to do that, it was necessary for Kanzaki himself to admit the truth.

Motoko: Admitting his truth must have lifted a big burden off of him, don't you think, Chief?

Aramaki: I must say it wouldn't do us any harm to have him in our debt.

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